As we make our way toward kickoff 1 of the 2020 NFL season, it's a great time to dig into the offerings at online sports betting sites in NJ, PA, and other states and look for attractive betting markets to wager on before the season.
There are plenty of popular preseason football futures markets on these sites including odds for the winner of each division and win totals among many more. With Week 1 rapidly approaching, we are exploring these markets by breaking things down by NFL division.
Next up is the Green Bay Packer, Minnesota Viking, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions as we break down our next division and make 2020 NFC North predictions.
Who Will Win The NFC North In 2020?
The NFC North is known as one of the most hard-fought divisions in football. The rivalries are intense and coming out on top is never an easy feat. Last year, the Packers won 13 games and the division en route to an NFC title game appearance while Minnesota finished second at 10-6.
This season, oddsmakers see one of those two teams as the best candidates to take the division once again. Chicago and Detroit are on the outskirts of the division outlook and even though both would garner huge payouts, but it's more likely one of the other two teams will take it and that is the direction we are looking.
So who will win the NFC North in 2020? Honestly, Week 1 could give us the answer since Minnesota and Green Bay are playing head-to-head.
Last year, it was Chicago and Green Bay as the two favorites for the division and after the Packers won on opening night, they had a huge leg up on their eventual division crown.
The Week 1 tilt is in Minnesota, but we are still giving the leg up in the division to the Packers. Green Bay is better suited to protect its quarterback and has several big-name players looking to earn new contracts.
Many feel the Packers didn't do enough to address their holes in the draft, and they didn't, but Minnesota virtually did the same thing with its brutal cornerbacks and also has issues on the offensive line.
Once again, take Green Bay for your NFC North predictions, even if the division hasn't had a repeat winner in five years. And if they lose that first game, check the value on those odds going into Week 2.
NFC North Division Winner Pick: Green Bay Packers (+175 at BetMGM)
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For similar predictions regarding the rest of the league, check out our NFL division prediction series:
NFC North Win Total Predictions
- Green Bay Packers Over 8.5 Wins (-137 at DraftKings)
Green Bay won 13 games a season ago and appeared in the NFC Championship. Even if the group was a big overrated and overachieved a bit, regressing by five whole wins doesn't appear likely.
Sure, the division may be tighter this season but Green Bay has some very important guys playing for new contracts next season. The likes of running back Aaron Jones, offensive linemen David Bakhtiari, Corey Lindsey, and Lane Taylor are all looking for new deals, and we can expect more of the same strong protection for Aaron Rodgers in 2020.
This team went 6-0 in the division last year and even if they slip to 4-2, they can still get to nine or even 10. If you can find more value with the total sweet exactly at nine, go for it, but we think over 8.5 should be safe for one of your NFC North betting picks.
- Minnesota Vikings Over 8.5 Wins (-159 at BetMGM)
The Vikings won 10 games and went to the playoffs last season but their projected total is a bit lower, just like the Packers. Experts and oddsmakers see some regression in this division and Minnesota is expected to be no exception after having lost key pieces on both sides of the ball.
Still, the Vikings remain the favorites to win the division this season. We may not agree, but this is definitely the first or second-best team in the NFC North at this point. Even with the 10th-toughest schedule in the league, Minnesota should definitely get over .500 if it can go 3-3 or 4-2 inside the division.
- Chicago Bears Under 8.5 Wins (-176 at BetMGM)
Who starts at quarterback for the Bears? Will it be an underwhelming Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles in a new system without any preseason reps. Either way, we think it could lead to a tough start for Chicago.
There is some good news, though. The division is regressing to the mean and the Bears luck out with an easy schedule at the start of the year. But unless they go 5-1 in the first six games, we don't see how they get to nine wins as the third or fourth-best team in this division.
This number is 7.5 or 7 at some places, which could provide an over bettor with some more margin for error, or an under bettor with extra value.
- Detroit Lions Over 6.5 Wins (-139 at BetMGM)
The Lions have finished last in each of the last two seasons, going just 3-12-1 in 2019. This year, there are higher expectations for Detroit and you can include us in the group expecting to see a big leap taken in coach Matt Patricia's third season.
The schedule is one of the toughest in the league, but we think the Lions can overcome that for at least seven wins. Detroit may have had the best draft of any team in the NFC North, bolstering the defense with CB Jeffrey Okudah and the offense with RB De'Andre Swift to join a talented backfield.
With the rest of the division going through regression, count on Detroit winning a few more going over its total as one of your NFC North predictions.
2020 NFC North Record Predictions
Selecting over or under a win total is one thing, but we want to take an extra step and estimate the exact NFC North record predictions.
This is because sportsbooks contain preseason NFL props markets that offer lucrative odds for selecting the exact number of wins for each team. Here are our NFC North 2020 record predictions:
- Green Bay Packers Record Prediction: 11-5
- Minnesota Vikings Predictions: 9-7
- Detroit Lions Record Prediction: 7-9
- Chicago Bears Record Prediction: 7-9
Projecting several months' worth of games is certainly not easy, but maybe this will help establish a baseline for what to expect from each team. Due to the difficulty of the division, it's unlikely one team goes 6-0 and runs away from the rest of the group, as last year's Packers did.
NFC North Best Bets
Traditional preseason betting markets at online betting sites in PA, NJ, and plenty of other states oftentimes include the aforementioned win totals, divisions, conferences, and of course, Super Bowl champion.
But there are also dozens of lesser-known prop betting markets based on projections for every single team. The exact markets and their odds vary from site to site but the benefit is that you can access a seemingly endless number of betting options, which nearly guarantees you find something you want to wager on.
After seeing what various sites have to offer, we've compiled out NFC North best bets for the upcoming season using a combination of value and what we expect to happen.
- Green Bay Packers 9-12 Wins (-154 at BetMGM)
- Green Bay Packers To Make Playoffs: Yes (-129 at DraftKings)
- Green Bay Packers First Win: Week 1 at Minnesota (+155 at BetMGM)
- Minnesota Vikings First Loss: Week 2 at Seattle (+100 at BetMGM)
- Minnesota Vikings Second Place NFC North (+200 at DraftKings)
- Minnesota Vikings Exactly 9 Wins (+270 at BetMGM)
- Detroit Lions First Win Week 1 vs. Bears (+110 at BetMGM)
- Detroit Lions Third Place NFC North (+280 at BetMGM)
- Detroit Lions Over 6.5 Wins (-139 at BetMGM)
- Chicago Bears 5-8 Wins (-164 at BetMGM)
- Chicago Bears Fourth Place NFC North (+225 at BetMGM)
- Chicago Bears To Make Playoffs: No (-189 at BetMGM)
Stay tuned for more 2020 NFL betting predictions for each division as we get closer to kickoff for Week 1!